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Seven things you still need root to do, and two things that don’t


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Very nice and informative article about root on Android


When we talk about root or “rooting” your smartphone or tablet, we’re talking about bypassing the built-in securities and permissions that come prepackaged on your device so you can obtain “privileged control” or “root access”. Our Apple-toting friends often call this “jailbreaking”, which, in a manner of speaking, it is. OEMs lock our devices down “for our own good”, to keep us from breaking them or allowing malicious software to get inside and do damage. A secondary objective is to make sure that we can’t do anything that the OEM, carrier, or OS vendor don’t want us to do – which makes “jailbreaking” a very appropriate term – though in actuality, we’ve done nothing wrong.


Android is based on the Linux kernel and Linux is a full-blown operating system with lots of potential uses. It’s a pretty powerful OS when it comes right down to it. Back in the early days, many people saw Android’s heritage as a banner not only for what the OS could do, but as an ensign of what it should do. In its infancy, however, Android was not terribly powerful, but it was full of potential.


As hardware specs evolved and progressed developers began to envision new and innovative ways to put those components to use. However, due to various restrictions and the lack of published APIs (application programming interfaces), many of these new components were untouchable to everyday users running with default permission levels. Root users, on the other hand, had much deeper access to the hardware – but only a small percentage of Android users had rooted their devices............



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